As part of their ongoing campaign, #SaveChantry has published an analysis of the document, ‘CHANTRY WOOD CAMPSITE CONSULTATION REVIEW’, published by Guildford Borough Council (GBC) in advance of the council meeting to consider this issue on the 7th March 2019.

Guildford Borough Council has called a ‘Special Meeting, Executive
Thursday, 7th March, 2019 7.00 pm’, where it will make further attempts to close down growing opposition to its handling of the Chantry Woods Campsite. Full details can be found on the GBC website, with the meeting open to the public,and webcast.

The council has made numerous claims to have consulted properly, examined the case for a change to the site’s operation, and many other issues, yet this assessment uncovers that Holy Trinity Amenity Group – the residents association that covers the area wasn’t even approached to comment, and only found out about the plans by accident!

This is not the worst of it, and we encourage everyone to read the document (below).

You can read the document in full here: Response to GBC Chantry Paper 6th March_Final

About the review

The review was undertaken by local resident Catherine Fowler, a former business case specialist & consultant, who is involved in the #SaveChantry campaign.

The review looks at each contentious claim made by the council in the paper, or issue raised about the council’s claims, analyses it, and offers a verdict over whether the claim is either incorrect, misleading, incomplete, or unclear, or something else.

There are a great number of problems with this document, and we have attempted to make it as simple as possible to read for lay-people or those not familiar with such documents.

Our aim with this document is to bring a sense of transparency to the whole issue. It is our contention – as evidenced very clearly in this review – that the Council have not been transparent, and indeed have actively avoided being transparent. We invite you to make your own judgement, and draw your own conclusions.

We are still – as many others are – unclear as to why the leader of GBC, Councillor Paul Spooner and Managing Director, James Whiteman, have permitted much of this to happen, but it is clear that it is their responsibility to make good the mess and distrust around this issue that has been permitted to fester under their watch.

James Whiteman is responsible for operations, and the things his staff do; Cllr Spooner, for the democratic oversight an elected council is supposed to bring.

As a result, an individual involved in the campaign to #SaveChantry has submitted a formal letter of complaint to both Cllr Spooner and James Whiteman concerning the failure to consult properly, demanding that the consultation process be rerun transparently and with the active involvement of stakeholders. If necessary, this will be escalated to the Local Government Ombudsman.

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